The Real 2016 Highlight Reel

Photo Of An Open Book With A Ship In The Background

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For me, this is the most wonderful time of the year.  I love the quiet that descends after the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season, and I really love the start of a new year.  While we never have to wait for a new year to make or break resolutions, it is the one time of the year when the whole world collectively is on the same fresh page of a new book together.  As the new year approaches, I find myself joining in the ritual of taking a look back at 2016 one more time before bidding it farewell.  I know, though, that the lessons, experiences, and memories will accompany me into 2017, and I intend to make them good traveling companions.

As this trip down memory lane continues, there is the natural inclination to want to fast forward through the scenes that would end up on the cutting room floor, if this past year had been a movie, and to focus only on the best of 2016 moments.  To do so would not be an accurate representation of life, my life, and I have never seen the point of pretending that certain things never happened, all for the sake of appearances.  Life is a balance of experiences that will make you laugh until you cry and cry until you think that the tears will never stop, and 2016 delivered both.  Sometimes, it arrived on a silver platter, and other times, it hit me like a sledge hammer.  But arrive it did, and I was there to welcome it.  All of it.

In no particular order, here are some of the moments from the past year that took up residence in my mind and heart, for better and for worse:

  • Kicking off the year with radiation treatment for breast cancer
  • Watching my daughters rendered speechless when meeting one of their favorite University of Kentucky basketball players, Tyler Ulis.  Heart over height!
  • Failing myself and my loved ones at different points along the way
  • Thinking that it couldn’t get any better than seeing Pearl Jam in concert at Rupp Arena, then, topping it by attending their first ever show at Fenway Park with my person and hearing “Release” to open the show
  • Starting to write a book, then not finishing it
  • Losing one of my dearest friends to breast cancer and experiencing a raw combination of grief and survivor’s guilt
  • Welcoming a pair of abandoned sibling kittens into our home
  • Apologizing for things I shouldn’t have apologized for or didn’t need to apologize for
  • Supporting my two bad ass friends who are fighting to get out of this stupid cancer club with lots of love and sick humor
  • Attending my high school reunion and being reminded why we were, and still are, truly a special group indeed
  • Being witness to how innately kind, wickedly funny, beautiful, and bright my two daughters are, as they navigate their adolescent years with far more maturity and grace than I ever did
  • Beginning the practice of daily neighborhood walks both by myself and with my daughters
  • Succumbing to negative thoughts and beliefs, hurting myself and others, at times
  • Spending time in the stellar company of old friends and new friends
  • Lying to myself
  • Roller skating and feeling like a kid, again
  • Trying to figure out how to live my dreams while facing the daily realities and responsibilities of life
  • Celebrating 25 years since of one of the strongest friends I have was diagnosed with, and survived, lymphoma
  • Learning Pilates from a genuine soul
  • Questioning what I want to be when I grow up
  • Dissolving in grateful tears more than once when seeing the pure splendor of both sunrises and sunsets
  • Starting weekly writing discussions with a great long-time friend who motivates, inspires, and accepts me
  • Failing and succeeding at managing the anxiety and depression that still attempt to insert themselves into my life from time to time
  • Running the trails
  • Reading books that challenged me to think differently
  • Experiencing fear and self-doubt that, at times, paralyzed me and prevented me from taking the necessary steps to succeed, personally and professionally
  • Being left in complete awe after watching the documentary, “Gleason”, with my person
  • Returning to the University of Dayton on an impossibly beautiful Saturday for an afternoon of friends, bourbon, and football
  • Having creative ideas about expanding my blog and my writing, yet remaining directionless in how to take these ideas and make them realities
  • Feeling as if I am running out of time to do everything I want and need to do in this life
  • Discovering ginger beer
  • Keeping a daily gratitude journal
  • Eating, drinking, and being merry with good friends at the Kentucky Oaks
  • Riding in the sickest Jaguar ever with my good friend behind the wheel and some of our favorite music blaring from the speakers
  • Surviving  . . . and thriving

This is merely a snapshot of the last 365 days, but it is a good representation of what unfolded for me in 2016.  Now, it’s time to get ready for the year ahead and what it will, and will not, bring.   I wonder what will make the real highlight reel next year, and I am looking forward to finding out for myself.

That’s another story . . .

Categories: That's Another Story

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4 replies

  1. I always love and look forward to your New Years posts, KJ. And I have to say that most of the time I read your posts when you post them on FB, but last night, while looking for something specific you wrote in the past that resonated with me, I actually visited your blog website. It looks so different than it did at the beginning, and I really like the look of it. It’s attractive, organized and easy to navigate. Well done. And thanks for always putting your heart out there…you have a beautiful one💙!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Shannon, you are such a special friend to me, and the support and kindness you have extended to me are very much appreciated. I hope to expand my blog in the upcoming year, but I am thrilled that you like it in its current format. Here’s to a happy, healthy, authentic new year! XOXO


  2. A richly textured year. I fear you are very hard on yourself though, my friend! Happy New Year, Kristi Jo–


    Liked by 1 person

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